When Winmaster Sdn Bhd, the authorised distributor of Shark helmets in Malaysia announced the arrival of the Skwal; the market’s first helmet to incorporate LED lights into its design, the level of excitement in the air was definitely on the higher side, as it was nothing like we have seen before. Although the brand had many other models that ranked higher in the product line up, it was the Skwal which got all the attention, as it was a potential game changer.
So, in order to find out if the Shark Skwal was just a novelty or if it really delivers, we managed to get our hands on one, thanks to Winmaster Sdn Bhd, to get a first-hand feel of the helmet.
Now, for those who are unaware, the Skwal is the latest helmet to be released by Shark into the existing Pulse range, and is the first helmet to incorporate LED lights into its design in the market. According to Shark helmets, it is confident that the Skwal marks the beginning of a new era in rider safety and electronic helmet functionality.
The Skwal has three cleverly integrated neon green LED’s, which are situated in the front mouth piece, the front air intake, as well as the rear air vents, which not only enhance the sleek and aggressive look of this helmet, but is also a huge factor in visibility and rider safety.
Among all the colours in the spectrum, neon green was the colour chosen by Shark for the LED as it was a prime colour, alongside red and blue. However, since red and blue are used by authorities, green was the best option for visibility.
In case you’re wondering how the LED’s operate, they are powered by a small in-built battery, which is fully rechargeable via a micro USB cable. The company said that the helmet’s battery has up to 5000 recharge cycles and an impressive battery life of five hours on the continuous light mode, or ten hours on the flashing light mode. The two light modes can be selected with a press of the button positioned on the lower right side of the helmet.
Although it seems like there are a lot of components involved, the Shark Skwal only weighs 1,470 grams, including the lights and battery pack, putting it into the feather weight category of the helmet market.
In terms of standard features, the Skwal comes with a flip-down internal sun visor, Shark ‘easy fit’ feature for riders who wear glasses, a micro-lock buckle system, a fully removable and a washable lining made of bamboo.
A couple of interesting things about the bamboo inner lining is that it has a generous dosage of anti-bacterial properties to keep it clean at all times. In addition, the material is much more odour resistant than other materials that are usually used to make inner linings.
It also features a clever Autoseal visor adhearing gasket, which makes the helmet one of the most stable helmets today. What the Autoseal feature does is that it pushes the visor inwards when it is pulled down, making it air-tight, quiet, and waterproof.
As much as the design is concerned, the Shark Skwal is quite neutral. It doesn’t look too futuristic or too traditional, not too complicated or too simple, and not too rounded or too angular.
The good thing about this is that it suits riders who are astride any type of motorcycle, regardless of whether it’s a cruiser, a sports bike, or even a scooter. Simply put, it looks good with anything.
What we love most about the Shark Skwal LED helmet is the drop down integral anti-scratch and anti-UV sun visor. Not only is it scratch-proof, but it is designed in a way that it drops much lower than many helmets out there in the market, making the rider feel like he or she is wearing sunglasses.
As safe as it is from wind, and water, it couldn’t escape from the infamous fogging woes. However, Winmaster Sdn Bhd said that it will not be an issue for its customers as a helmet pinlock worth RM120 will be given for free with every purchase of the Shark Skwal LED helmet.
Catered towards riders of all age, the Shark Skwal is available in black, white, matte and gloss finishes, as well as a wide range of graphic and colour scheme for those who would like to stand out from the rest. The model you are looking at now, however, is more special, as the livery was designed by Sak Art design; an internationally renowned graphic design house that has collaborated with numerous companies in the automotive industry.
Priced very competitively at RM950 for solid finish and RM1,030 for the units with graphics, the Shark Skwal is worth every sen it asks for. Not only does it look good, but it is feature-packed, comfortable and has decent build quality. Although it is not the quietest helmet around, features like the LED lights, and the visor systems work well. Besides that, most importantly, for what is being offered, RM1,030 is as sweet as a deal can get.
Helmet: Shark Skwal LED Sak Art Design
Type: Full face
Distributor: Winmaster Sdn Bhd
Price: RM950.00 (solid) / RM1,030 (graphics)
First unveiled at the 2013 EICMA International Motorcycle Exhibition in Milan, Italy following its debut in the Marvel blockbuster ‘Captain America: Winter Soldier’, the Harley-Davidson Street 750, which is the brand’s new entry level model, finally made its debut here after much anticipation in April. Unlike the rest of the models in the stable, Naza Prestige Bikes, the authorised distributors of Harley-Davidson motorcycles in Malaysia said that the Street 750 is aimed at a new target audience for the brand here, specifically younger urban riders.
Another highlight about the Street 750 is that it is assembled in India, and is targeted towards markets where big bikes are booming, namely India itself, China, and the South East Asian region. When the Street 750 was launched at Harley-Davidson Kuala Lumpur showroom at the Naza Automall in Petaling Jaya, Naza Prestige Bikes also introduced a Naza World Customs programme which allows owners to dress up their Street 750 any way they like it. Not one or two, but four customised examples were exhibited at the launch just to give us an idea on what can be done to the bike for about RM6,000.
However, the test unit which we got our hands on last month was the base model with a few aftermarket additions such as the Screamin’ Eagle exhausts, special rims, panniers, as well as a pillion backrest. Powering the Street 750 is Harley-Davidson’s new Revolution X 750cc liquid-cooled, 60-degree V-Twin engine which produces 56 hp at 8,000 rpm and 59 Nm of peak torque at 4,000 rpm, mated to a six-speed belt-drive transmission. The first thing we noticed after sitting on the Street 750 was that the seat is positioned quite low at 720mm. In addition, the fuel tank is also low-slung, making the bike feel very short as the rider’s knees were protruding above the tank while riding, but it was not a bad thing though.
Once we started rolling, the bike felt super comfortable, and due to the low centre of gravity, the bike could be manoeuvred easily without breaking a sweat. However, after about an hour of riding, the rider’s buttocks did want to call it a day, due to the slanting sitting position. What we loved most about the Street 750 is its engine. The output figures might not seem like a big deal on paper but believe us when we say that this thing delivers massive amount of low-end torque. Throughout our stint with the bike, it was a case of “just ask and you shall receive” with the throttle. Power was just delivered instantly and so smoothly that before we knew it, we were clocking speed that could’ve got us into trouble with the authorities.
Regardless of whether we were leaving a traffic light or needed to overtake vehicle, the engine and the six-speed gearbox could be worked easily, with light and precise shifts, which was something quite surprisingly unlikely for a Harley-Davidson. Now, those who are familiar with Harleys know for a fact that smooth gear shifting is not something that these bikes are known for. However, in the case of the Street 750, the company has done a good job in getting it right; ideal for beginners.
As enjoyable as it was to ride the Street 750, it didn’t feel like any other Harley Davidson we’ve ridden before. While we’re all used to the loud, thumping exhaust note capable of waking up a whole neighborhood, the Revolution-X engine was much quieter than what we had expected. Besides that, it was much smoother than other Harleys as well. Although these new characteristics are exactly what Harley needs to help build a pool of future motorcyclists, they might not appeal to the purists.
It was also quite practical for an entry-level model, as it comes with a 13-litre fuel tank, and could be fitted with saddlebags without making the bike look hideous, unlike the Sportster (which was the cheapest Harley-Davidson before the Street 750) that failed miserably in the practicality department. Overall, the Street 750 still had its shortcomings. For instance, the brakes felt too spongy and lacked bite. And then, there were the wires and cables that exposed behind the headlamp, and parts like the fuel cap that felt flimsy.
If these things could be improved, the Street 750 would do more justice to the RM62,888 it is asking for, in our humble opinion. Besides that, things were fine and dandy with the bike. If you’re a beginner and are in pursuit of a middleweight cruiser that offers a world of customization options, the Street 750 may just be the right bike for you.
Specifications of the Harley-Davidson Street 750
Engine: Liquid-cooled 749cc 60-degree V-twin
Fuelling: Fuel Injection
Max power: 58hp at 7,955rpm
Max torque: 59Nm at 3,790rpm
Front Suspension: Forks
Rear Suspension: Twin rear shocks
Wheelbase: 1,534mm Seat height: 720mm
Fuel capacity: 13-litres Price: RM62,888
Equipment: Shark Skwal LED helmet
We all love biking, but the one down part about urban motorcycling is the exposure to the elements. Pollution to be exact. We have all been behind a fume spewing bus or truck, or worse still, stuck behind either while waiting for a light to change. We have been there, we know. (more…)